Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The Coast Starlight
My mother has a brain tumor and recently it became inflamed which was causing her to fall down a lot.
A couple of weeks ago I jumped on Amtrak's Coast Starlight train at Oakland to help out over a long weekend.
The train trip was during a break in our welcome February rains that have been staving off a full-blown California drought.
The trip couldn't have been more beautiful and it was absurdly cheap, $32 for a one-way ticket from Oakland to San Luis Obispo, and for the first time in my experience, the southbound train was actually on time.
Traveling on a train is one of the more sensual experiences in the world, as much as traveling on ships, both with their constant motion and rocking.
Fellow passengers were an amusingly eccentric lot and lunch in the diner felt like a flashback to another time. I shared the meal with three strangers, including the delightful Noe Valley woman above who had just lost her job and was taking advantage of it by visiting an old friend in Los Osos.
The young man above was creating his own documented train trip...
...and seemed to be having a blast.
My mother's getting surgery tomorrow to shunt fluid from her brain to her stomach which should take the pressure off and help her recover for a while.
Update: My mother came through the surgery just fine, and I'm sure it had everything to do with the kind wishes and prayers from all of you. Thank you.